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Hazardous essential oils

Are there any hazardous essential oils? We are all aware of the many wonderful ways that aromatherapy can improve your health and your life, but are there any risks involved?

Overall, aromatherapy is very safe, but there are some hazardous essential oils. The first thing to bear in mind is that these products are intended for internal use only - although doctors may very occasionally prescribe them for internal use, in general they are only intended to be used externally.

However, there are also some hazardous essential oils that either should not be used at all, or else only in certain circumstances.

Some of those that should never be used include Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Rue, Thyme and Sage - the essence of these plants is toxic and should not be used in a concentrated form.

There are others that are safe as long as they are used correctly. Examples include:

  • Bergamot: This has many safe uses, however, it is phototoxic. This means that while you can uses it externally, if the skin is then exposed to sunlight, severe sunburn could occur.

  • Camphor: While safe in general, prolonged inhalation can cause headaches

  • Cinnamon: Renowned for its aroma and its taste, it should not be applied to the skin as it can cause irritation

  • Clove: As with cinnamon, it should not be applied to the skin as it can cause irritation

Understanding how and when to use these different products is the key to safe, effective use.




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